Wednesday, July 02, 2008
This was almost another example of legacy punishment -- penalties for acts long ago. The court, however, stopped it with a common sense ruling. Lead paint, asbestos and other toxics were used in innocence. They were accepted products of their time, and no one gave a second thought about them. Today we know better, but does that mean we get to reach back in time and ruin the reputations of those who made and sold these products? In the case of asbestos, it seems that it does. Paint is different. Still, any manufacturer who has been in business for decades has to worry about the past reappearing in the present and creating reputational problems. While this is well understood, legacy punishment never has been fair. It is a cost of doing business.